Gotta help my Mom with Windows Media Player in her face

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
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Mom calls me every now and again - we got her a Dell for her 80th birthday and I am her tech support, since Dell does not offer tech support any more (long story).

She called this morning to say that for some time now every time she starts up, Windows Media Player is there, full screen. She closes it, and goes on, but the next time she starts the computer, there it is again.

I walked her through checking the Startup menu and msconfig, but nothing there.

Any other place where those tricky guys could set it to start?

I couldn't find any option in WMP to autostart.

I suspect she has Automatic Windows Updates, and it was downloaded for her, like a version update, and set to pop up in her face. But there's limits to how much I can get her to walk through with me on the phone, and when I started to try to explore that one, she got too confused.

 

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
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Does not msconfig show the registry for Current Version/Run? Is there somewhere else an autostart could be?

I did a search in my own XP registry here (I don't want to walk Mom through her registry over the phone - the time I got her to do ipconfig was very interesting) and found lots of instances of wmplayer.exe, and I found a website the gave the clsID for it and found all of those in the registry, but nothing about autostarts yet
 

n0cmonkey

Elite Member
Jun 10, 2001
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I don't know what msconfig is.

She should be calling Dell tech support, or you should have VNC or something similar on her machine so that you could connect to it and fix it yourself.
 

Felecha

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Sep 24, 2000
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Dell support was a disaster when we really needed it. We had even bought the in-house contract. Never again.

Her ip is 192.168.1.100, so she's on an internal network at the place she lives, and I can't even consider VNC setup, I'm afraid. I could probably make it work with a tech guy at her end, but no luck there.

But thanks for the idea

msconfig at a command prompt gets you the System Configuration Utility, which has a Startup tab, where it shows registry entries for Current Version\Run and Startup Menu items
 

n0cmonkey

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Jun 10, 2001
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I thought there was a way to do reverse connections with VNC so that rfc 1918 addresses and port forwarding didn't matter. Maybe I'm wrong though...
 

n0cmonkey

Elite Member
Jun 10, 2001
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From tightvnc's page:
Add New Client - This allows outgoing connections to be made from the server to any viewer started in the "listening" mode. The name of the target viewer machine and optional display number can be entered in the dialog. Connections created this way are treated as shared. Such so called "reverse connections" can also be initiated from the command line using the -connect option.

So she might be able to open the connecction to you so you can help her.
 

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
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well thats interesting. We have just discovered ultravnc as an alternative to pcAnywhere at work. Maybe it too has a reverse connection. I can look at tightvnc.

But really, Mom is a good egg, but gets flustered with things much simpler than that. To have her download, install, configure, all over the phone, seems almost impossible.

Sigh . . .

It's gotta be something tied into the OS, right? What else can do auto startups at boot? And the registry and Startup Menu are all that I know of.

 

firewall

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2001
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If it's WinXP:

Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services

See if there's any reference to WMP files, etc over there. If so, disable them or turn them to manual start.

Some of these services don't show up in msconfig.

See if that solves the problem.
 

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
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Windows Medial Player has Services as part of the app? I'm very familiar with Services.
 

Looney

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
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I doubt WMP is in services.

Anyways, is WMP loading any actual media? If so, that might be a hint... and you might want to try Add/Remove.

 

cubby1223

Lifer
May 24, 2004
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I'll bet a beer the problem is with the keyboard, a special media key that opens the default media player, is either stuck or accidently being pressed (like if the keyboard slides below the desk).
 

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
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Looney - no, nothing loads

cubby1223 - the keyboard is up on the desk. Special media key??? I don't know what you mean. Oh wait, I have a standard keyboard and always have. You mean those special Dell keys up at the top, for email or internet or maybe a media player? How could it be stuck, though, if it only happens at boot? Very interesting idea, though. Wouldn't think of that one in a week!

And I don't drink beer - wanna bet something else?

 

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
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Well, here's possibly a clue. I got a suggestion elsewhere that it could be a Scheduled Task - I didn't think of that. And Scheduled Task reminded me that she told me that when this started just recently, she mentioned that at the same time she noticed that the regular weekly Norton Antivirus scan that is scheduled for overnight every Friday night has stopped working. She is used to seeing the popup screen from Norton every Saturday morning and she hasn't seen it since the WMP thing started. I didn't think of connecting the two since they didn't sound related. But maybe there is some way they are. It's too late to call her again tonight. Anyone see any way this could be a clue?
 

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
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I tried setting WMP as a Scehduled task on my own laptop here (also XP) and set it to system startup. It started (Task Manager shows it) but without a window. So I doubt that is the thing, but I'm still curious about Norton AV.
 

Felecha

Golden Member
Sep 24, 2000
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As for UltraVNC, I'm also behind a router and firewall, so it would get really complicated. And I know she would be almost unable except for a believable death threat, to do what would be needed to get it to work. She's a trouper, but reaches limits of what she can handle.